As some families waited to learn whether their loved ones are among the dead in Orlando Monday morning, Donald Trump appeared on television and suggested that President Obama was pleased with, and perhaps even encouraged, the mass shooting.
Trump offered up his YouTube-comments-grade conspiracy live on (where else?) Fox & Friends, leaping from his typical Obama criticisms to something much more sinister all in one sentence. "He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other," Trump said. "We're led by a man who is a very—look, we're led by a man that either is, is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it. People cannot—they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can't even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There's something going on. It's inconceivable."
Trump later took credit for being correct in his anti-Muslim comments. “I’m getting thousands of letters and tweets that I was right about the whole situation,” he told Fox. He later called for increased bombing abroad and increased surveillance of Muslim Americans. “We have to be very strong in terms of looking at the mosques,” Trump said.
In the hours immediately following Sunday's tragedy, the likely Republican presidential nominee seized upon nationwide shock in a blatantly insensitive attempt to score political points with the xenophobic and anti-Muslim contingents of his base. "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism," Trump tweeted yesterday framing the death of 49 people at the hands of an American-born Muslim as a vindication of his nativist rhetoric.
Trump's remarks might appear to stem from the news that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was Muslim, and in the middle of his shooting spree paused to pledge his allegiance to the Islamic State during a 911 call. Mateen has been described by his family as a regularly violent man with deep-seated homophobia and legal access to firearms. But for Trump, there is no nuance, only a violent man with a foreign name who at some point read the Quran before committing an atrocity. In Trump's twisted toxic worldview, Mateen and Obama are both Muslims, and therefore the president is a Manchurian Candidate-style terrorist mastermind who was no doubt celebrating on rooftops during 7/11. Read all about it in the next racist comic sans email from your stupid uncle.